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Author Topic: List of All Lisa Software  (Read 7715 times)

stepleton

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Re: List of All Lisa Software
« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2022, 03:29:30 pm »

Quote
I plan on wiping them with IPA before trying to read them again.

Heaven knows I love the 'propes, but there are people who know better than me who tend to argue against IPA as it apparently can dissolve certain parts of the media. For these folks, the solvent of choice (of options available today to most buyers) is cyclomethicone, which sounds exotic but turns up in places like cosmetics and deodorants. You can find it at cosmetics supply outlets.

Here is an earlier LisaList2 discussion on the topic.
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rayarachelian

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Re: List of All Lisa Software
« Reply #61 on: May 03, 2022, 06:21:46 pm »

Heaven knows I love the 'propes, but there are people who know better than me who tend to argue against IPA as it apparently can dissolve certain parts of the media. For these folks, the solvent of choice (of options available today to most buyers) is cyclomethicone,

"Seconded" (as Scruffy would say) - but yeah if the media itself is falling apart, I'd be super careful to not clean it. I'd rather clean the heads of a floppy drive instead after trying to get whatever was still readable off it. I wouldn't use something like Disk Copy if there are errors because it stupidly aborts rather than letting you save what was available for reading. You're better off with something like CopyIIMac which will let you duplicate a bad disk and ignore the errors, and then you can image the copy from it with DiskCopy 4.2 or CP FastCopy.

Certainly if this is the very last copy of a specific piece of software, the odds are grim, but you never know when a second copy with a different set of bad sectors will turn up, and in that case you can merge the good sectors from image to another. In fact, this is why I wrote this little beastie: https://github.com/rayarachelian/lisaem/blob/unstable/src/tools/src/dc42-copy-selected-sectors.c

I had picked up a pre-release version of a MacWorks floppy that had errors on, but every time I imaged it, I got a slightly different image (with errors) so wanted to merge in bits of files from the release version, but couldn't get a working copy. Still, I'm all about small sharp tools...

Obviously we're not going to be able to recover physically damaged sectors, but for weak ones where some bits flip back and forth and it's isolatable (is that even a word?), we might get lucky and guess at the original value(s) and get a recovery.


So far I've played with CP Fast Copy, and CopyIIMac. Is there any other early Mac-era copier that could help? Preferably something that will create disk images that we can mess with?
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blusnowkitty

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Re: List of All Lisa Software
« Reply #62 on: May 03, 2022, 06:51:05 pm »

So far I've played with CP Fast Copy, and CopyIIMac. Is there any other early Mac-era copier that could help? Preferably something that will create disk images that we can mess with?

If you wanted to go the hardware route, the Applesauce FDC claims compatibility with Lisa 400k and Mac 400k/800k disks.

https://applesaucefdc.com/what-is-applesauce/
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pintoguy

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Re: List of All Lisa Software
« Reply #63 on: May 04, 2022, 04:21:05 pm »

Looks like they're still working on it... Here is the update I got today:

"Hi Bruno, I hope this email finds you well.

I apologize for not being able to update you yet, I would like to assure you that we are still looking into this and we should have an update for you very soon.
I don't know the absolute timeline but I should be emailing you back sometime at the start of the next week.

Thank you for your patience! Sincerely,

Arush Mankotia
Support Engineer
Omnis Software US"
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pintoguy

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Re: List of All Lisa Software
« Reply #64 on: May 10, 2022, 07:36:51 pm »

OK so I did some work on these floppies. I have three of them. One is an Install2 disk with a serial number starting with 7IN. The other two are Install1 and Install2 with a serial number starting with 8IN.

After IPA cleanup (yes IPA works very well for me - I have revived dozens of bad floppies using it), I was actually able to read the file "Install Omnis" from the 7IN-Install2 disk on my Lisa, and copied it on the Lisa 10MB widget HDD. Installation seems to have worked if done from the HD, but failed when done from the FDD (failure to display a window). Once installed, Omnis needs to be run in its own environment. However, when launching, it requires the "Master Disk", and none of the floppy disks get accepted.

I used DiskIIMac to make floppy copies, using the "sector mode". The "bit mode" did not work too well. After writing these diskettes, I was able to make diskcopy4.2 images, which I'm attaching. Perhaps someone will be able to take it from here. Using fedit, I suspect that the the Install1 floppy is simply a Lisa 7/7 boot floppy, whereas the Install2 disks are the Omnis programs. Again, fedit tells me that IN7 is likely Omnis 3.2 whereas IN8 is version 3.3. Also 8IN-Install1 is the worst with about 40 out of the 80 tracks throwing errors, whereas In7-Install2 (one bad track #73) and IN8-Install2 (two bad tracks #51 and 79) are quite a bit better.

Finally, I was not able to successfully use BLU to read these disks. When checking them, it seems to get stuck on the first read error and requires reboot.

Thanks again for the help and great advice.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2022, 07:45:54 pm by pintoguy »
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rayarachelian

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Re: List of All Lisa Software
« Reply #65 on: May 10, 2022, 08:46:15 pm »

OK so I did some work on these floppies. I have three of them. One is an Install2 disk with a serial number starting with 7IN. The other two are Install1 and Install2 with a serial number starting with 8IN.

Excellent!

After IPA cleanup (yes IPA works very well for me - I have revived dozens of bad floppies using it), I was actually able to read the file "Install Omnis" from the 7IN-Install2 disk on my Lisa, and copied it on the Lisa 10MB widget HDD. Installation seems to have worked if done from the HD, but failed when done from the FDD (failure to display a window). Once installed, Omnis needs to be run in its own environment. However, when launching, it requires the "Master Disk", and none of the floppy disks get accepted.

So by own environment, do you mean press Apple-Enter on start up to get the Environments window and select it from there? That's a weird way to write an LOS app, but ok.  Glad the IPA worked, there's some danger of it damaging the media, but glad it worked!

I used DiskIIMac to make floppy copies, using the "sector mode". The "bit mode" did not work too well. After writing these diskettes, I was able to make diskcopy4.2 images, which I'm attaching.
Did you mean CopyIIMac?

Perhaps someone will be able to take it from here. Using fedit, I suspect that the the Install1 floppy is simply a Lisa 7/7 boot floppy, whereas the Install2 disks are the Omnis programs. Again, fedit tells me that IN7 is likely Omnis 3.2 whereas IN8 is version 3.3. Also 8IN-Install1 is the worst with about 40 out of the 80 tracks throwing errors, whereas In7-Install2 (one bad track #73) and IN8-Install2 (two bad tracks #51 and 79) are quite a bit better.

Finally, I was not able to successfully use BLU to read these disks. When checking them, it seems to get stuck on the first read error and requires reboot.

Surprised that BLU failed, but glad you got some of the bits off. If we get lucky in the future and find some more Omnis disks, maybe we can get a full set at some point! Awesome job! Hang on to the originals, never know when some other tool/technique will come up that might help get it further.

Obviously whatever media's worn out or wiped isn't going to be recoverable, but maybe there's other things that can be done, such as using a 1.44M Apple SuperDrive floppy to read them which has a narrow head. That might help (or hinder) depending on where the damage is, and whether or not the head is slightly off-center track-wise, and if you're lucky you might hit an area that hasn't been damaged, etc.
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pintoguy

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Re: List of All Lisa Software
« Reply #66 on: May 10, 2022, 09:37:09 pm »

Yes, CopyIIMac, sorry for the confusion. And yes, Apple-Enter on startup. See screenshot pics.

I also thought about the FDD reader head, and whether a wider head would be better or worse. The cross-track width is probably similar for DD and HD (both 80 tracks per side), but it's the down-track reader length that changes, as HD floppies have twice the kbpi (kilobit per inch). My conclusion was that a SD drive with a longer reader would have a higher SN ratio, and hence be a better choice for scratched SD floppies. That would be a nice experiment to try, and it's on my list (I used an HD drive here on a Mac Classic). On the other side, BLU run on the SS/LD Lisa drive also threw errors.

Regarding IPA, since I'm a chemist by training, I always wanted to make my own opinion, since I know IPA is not a known solvent for most plastics. So I tried on dummy blank floppies from my collection (a few different brands), and then on program floppies of little rarity. I also checked a few youtube videos on the topic, and all used rubbing alcohol (aka IPA). So I guess my question to this board is: Would anyone have FIRST HAND data showing that IPA messes with the floppy, either the magnetic coating, or the plastic substrate ??
« Last Edit: May 10, 2022, 09:38:53 pm by pintoguy »
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rayarachelian

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Re: List of All Lisa Software
« Reply #67 on: May 10, 2022, 10:06:46 pm »

Wow, it really is it's own Environment.
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blusnowkitty

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Re: List of All Lisa Software
« Reply #68 on: May 10, 2022, 10:17:29 pm »

I wonder if there's any relevance to looking at Omnis3 for Mac or if the two are completely separate codebases... I'm too tired, I'll dig into it some more later.

https://winworldpc.com/product/omnis/3x
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stepleton

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Re: List of All Lisa Software
« Reply #69 on: May 11, 2022, 02:41:43 pm »

In re IPA, I looked back into some old discussions. Al Kossow (who has tersely advocated against IPA here) says elsewhere that in his experience, it damages the binder (that presumably attaches magnetic media to the substrate), and I assume not the plastic itself.

Lubrication is cited as an additional cyclomethicone benefit, although it obviously cannot help this way once it has evaporated away.
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pintoguy

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Re: List of All Lisa Software
« Reply #70 on: May 11, 2022, 03:00:04 pm »

Thanks @stepleton.

If Al Kossow is reading this, can he provide more detail ? Perhaps a hard error count (e.g formatted capacity of a blank floppy) before and after wiping. I'll try to gather such data myself and will report.
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Lisa2

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Re: List of All Lisa Software
« Reply #71 on: May 11, 2022, 03:39:08 pm »

maybe there's other things that can be done, such as using a 1.44M Apple SuperDrive floppy to read them which has a narrow head..
Not to muddy the waters here, but I don't think size of the head is any different on a SuperDrive.  SuperDrive's have the same TPI and number of tracks that standard DS drives have.

I have SuperDrives installed in all four of my Lisa's, and they function exactly the same as 800K drives.  The only benefit is that the SuperDrives are newer and a little more reliable mechanically.
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rayarachelian

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Re: List of All Lisa Software
« Reply #72 on: May 11, 2022, 05:44:19 pm »

I have SuperDrives installed in all four of my Lisa's, and they function exactly the same as 800K drives.  The only benefit is that the SuperDrives are newer and a little more reliable mechanically.

Well, you're using them for at most 800K access so you wouldn't see any difference in normal use. (BTW, perhaps you could document how you've wired them to work with the Lisa's controller?)

However, they are capable of reading and writing ~2x the rate of normal drives, which means that the heads are going to be more sensitive. Now this might be done by increasing the data rate of the shift register used, and/or playing with the speed.

In general some later read/write heads also have an erase coil that runs just before the r/w head - this erase head is going to be wider than the r/w head so as to leave some space around to prevent data bleed to other tracks. So when the heads go off center, you wind up with that drive being mostly able to read/write from its own disk and do a marginal jobs of accessing media written to by other drives.

This gap is what we're after:

Code: [Select]
Assuming a liner track, it might look like this:

             trk1            trk2
   | gutter| data | gutter | data | gutter |
   | gutter| data | gutter | data | gutter |
   | gutter| data | gutter | data | gutter |
   | gutter| data | gutter | data | gutter |


Now when trying to do data recovery, we don't care about the erase head at all, and the width of the track, we just want to access the data:


Code: [Select]
Here XX's show mechanical damage to data:

   | gutter| data| gutter |
   | gutter| data| gutter |
   | gutter| daXX| gutter |
   | gutter| daXX| gutter |
   | gutter| XXXX| gutter |
   | gutter| daXX| gutter |
   | gutter| daXX| gutter |


In this second case, using a more sensitive head, and purposefully forcing the drive head to go off center, can recover the "da" data bits, but not the XXXX case. This is a moonshot ofc, damage is not always going to be offcenter, and could span multiple tracks depending on the geometry of the damage. But you might be able to get some more data out of it than not.

And yes, I am suggesting that you modify the drive to get at the data. This is called microstepping. This is a step too far perhaps for some as it will render that drive usable only for recovery use. Also, you may need to change this in both directions - once to be slightly to the left, then try to read multiple times and see if you get different data, and then once to the right, again, with repeated attempts to read the damaged areas.

This will give you a whole bunch of data that's going to be different (and fail checksum). So next you'd have the massive task of trying each of those passes to see if any got you further or not.

If you take a look at the opposite problem, on how fully destroy magnetic media, you see that multiple write passes are required with various patterns. This is so you remove any left over signal. see: https://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/secure_del.html

Quote
In conventional terms, when a one is written to disk the media records a one, and when a zero is written the media records a zero. However the actual effect is closer to obtaining a 0.95 when a zero is overwritten with a one, and a 1.05 when a one is overwritten with a one. Normal disk circuitry is set up so that both these values are read as ones, but using specialised circuitry it is possible to work out what previous "layers" contained. The recovery of at least one or two layers of overwritten data isn't too hard to perform by reading the signal from the analog head electronics with a high-quality digital sampling oscilloscope, downloading the sampled waveform to a PC, and analysing it in software to recover the previously recorded signal. What the software does is generate an "ideal" read signal and subtract it from what was actually read, leaving as the difference the remnant of the previous signal. Since the analog circuitry in a commercial hard drive is nowhere near the quality of the circuitry in the oscilloscope used to sample the signal, the ability exists to recover a lot of extra information which isn't exploited by the hard drive electronics (although with newer channel coding techniques such as PRML (explained further on) which require extensive amounts of signal processing, the use of simple tools such as an oscilloscope to directly recover the data is no longer possible).

Using MFM, we can go even further than this. During normal readback, a conventional head averages the signal over the track, and any remnant magnetization at the track edges simply contributes a small percentage of noise to the total signal. The sampling region is too broad to distinctly detect the remnant magnetization at the track edges, so that the overwritten data which is still present beside the new data cannot be recovered without the use of specialised techniques such as MFM or STM (in fact one of the "official" uses of MFM or STM is to evaluate the effectiveness of disk drive servo-positioning mechanisms) [7]. Most drives are capable of microstepping the heads for internal diagnostic and error recovery purposes (typical error recovery strategies consist of rereading tracks with slightly changed data threshold and window offsets and varying the head positioning by a few percent to either side of the track), but writing to the media while the head is off-track in order to erase the remnant signal carries too much risk of making neighbouring tracks unreadable to be useful (for this reason the microstepping capability is made very difficult to access by external means).

Now the difference between using highly specialized equipment and doing the above is that reading a 0.95th of a "1" signal is that we lose the indication that it was 0.95 and not 1. A fact which might have proven useful when doing data recovery. In other words, we don't have access to the analog levels of the bit strength which might provide a clue.

Imagine the magnetic media gets scraped by something, but not fully all the way down to the plastic part of the cookie. So maybe, think of it as a road with a pothole, but it hasn't gone down all the way to sand. If the road were magnetized, there might still be 25% of the media there, and its orientation is still readable.

But because the circuitry past the head has a discriminator that wants a whole 1 or whole 0, you cannot read this "1" bit and get a zero bit instead. This is the big issue here. But if we had access to analog levels with some degree of sensitivity, the original data might be recovered.

OFC, when the road is scraped all the way down to the sand layer underneath the concrete and asphalt, there's no way to get at the direction of the tiny magnetic fragments as there are none to see.

So this would give you maybe a 10%-20% chance of improvement.

Now if you were to build your own analog floppy controller and make it very sensitive, well, that would increase your chances a lot more. This is very difficult and would need a lot of processing power as well as a lot of code to write, but would allow us to recover a whole lot more. You may also need to do other things like read the data a lot more slowly, etc. and have some way to distinguish between different types of damage.

And ofc, the unmentioned thing here is dirt. Cleaning both the drive heads and the media is useful. However we have to be careful to not dissolve the media or damage it by doing this. I'm not an expert in this area at all, so not going to comment on IPA vs other substances, and leave that to those who have done it before. It's certainly possible to clean the media and then read it and recover it as well as causing permanent long term damage such that it won't be readable again some time in the future. This is going to be the same argument for/against retrobrite on cases, etc.

Final edit: all this said, this is theoretical, I personally don't know if you can modify a 2M Sony SuperDrive so the track is slightly off center, perhaps someone here has done that repair and can help describe it.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2022, 06:06:01 pm by rayarachelian »
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pintoguy

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Re: List of All Lisa Software
« Reply #73 on: May 11, 2022, 07:16:48 pm »

I always wondered whether in fact the head dithers a bit off track when trying to recover from a read error. I know modern HDD's do it. Looks like perhaps FDD's do not ?
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